One of the best ways I’ve learned leadership strategies is watching Ted Talks. To me, I find them interesting and informative on what it means to be a great leader. I don’t think a leader is made over night, much like I don’t think I will wake up tomorrow and be an Olympic gymnast. People can be born with the talent of leadership, but it takes willingness, effort, discipline, and humility to become a great one. Here are five Ted Talks that have influenced me the most in developing my leadership skills:
- Itay Talgam: Lead like the Great Conductors
This is my favorite video on leadership. If you watch any of these, watch this one. I’ve always been big on symbolism and this clearly shows to me what it means to “speak softly and carry a big stick,” but in this case it’s a baton. Being a leader doesn’t have to be authoritative, in fact, being a relational leader often produces the most fruit in your network. Being commanding when needed but present and letting people have the freedom of distribution of ideas is what makes the best leaders.
2. Roselinde Torres: What it Takes to be a Great Leader
I love the quote on diversity in this video. I find it so important to grow different perspectives. Different backgrounds, ideas, and expertise are essential for growth. The more exposure to people who are not like you, the better.
3. Brené Brown: The Power of Vulnerability
Vulnerability is something that I don’t think the average person really thinks is a trip to Disney World, but it is essential for leadership. Empathy is what drives revolution. When your audience feels like you understand what they’re going through, or you have the same mission and desires they do, they will want to get behind you. This is something that I’m not great at, but I know it’s “the birthplace of change,” so I know the fact that I’m working at it is making me a better leader.
4. Simon Sinek: How Great Leaders Inspire Action
Why do you do what you do? Sinek answers why this is essential for successful leadership for whatever cause you are pursuing. Find the “why” and then everyone else will want to join your “what”. I feel like this helped me decide why I wanted to become a defense attorney. I knew it would be more than just a paycheck to me, so I started focusing on the cause, the people, and the mission within the position I’d be in, and once I knew that, it made me even more passionate about my future career.
5. Amy Cuddy: Your Body Language May Shape Who You Are
The social and biological science behind body language that Amy Cuddy presents is something that inspires me to implement for every interview. One thing my Mama has always told me that Cuddy reiterates in this video is to, “Fake it ’til you make it,” and it’s honestly more helpful than it sounds. Sometimes, all you have to do is believe that you are more than what you think you are capable of, because that alone might drive you further than you comprehend.
In college, whether it’s stepping up for yourself or in some other capacity, doing so inevitably enables success. Whatever it may look like for you, whether it’s landing a job interview or internship, being an officer in your favorite club, or even if it’s just passing that final, implementing these strategies will be an important step to accomplishing your goals. Step out of your comfort zone, find your passion, own that power stance!